Vietnam perched halfway on global Internet inclusiveness ladder

By Dang Khoa   March 10, 2020 | 05:30 am PT
Vietnam perched halfway on global Internet inclusiveness ladder
An internet user browses the internet in front of an advertising billboard for 4G connection service at a bus stop in Hanoi, Vietnam. Photo by Reuters/Kham.
Vietnam ranks 50th in the The Economist newspaper’s 2020 Inclusive Internet Index annual ranking.

Commissioned by Facebook, this year it covered 100 countries and territories, representing 91 percent of the world's population, and polled 4,953 respondents.

It used 56 indicators divided into four domains - availability (quality and breadth of available infrastructure required for access and levels of Internet usage), affordability (cost of access relative to income and the level of competition in the Internet marketplace), relevance (existence and extent of local language content and relevant content), and readiness (capacity to access the Internet, including skills, cultural acceptance and supporting policy).

Vietnam scored an overall 71 out of 100. The highest scores it achieved were in the trust and safety sub-category in the readiness domain (44th), and availability of local internet content (41st).

The country was 13th out of 26 Asian countries, but second behind only India (46th) in the lower-middle income group.

Sweden topped the list with 86 points overall, followed by New Zealand and the U.S. Australia and Denmark ranked joint fourth.

Russia was 26th while China was tied at 36th place with Croatia.

At the bottom were Burkina Faso (96th), Malawi (97th), Madagascar (98th), Liberia (99th), and Burundi (100th).

According to the report, Internet access is increasing globally with the average household connectivity rising by a staggering 44.8 percent over the past several years, but vast disparities remain and the rate of uptake is slowing in the hardest-to-reach areas. More than half of the world’s population, or about 4.1 billion, are connected while more than 3.5 billion people are still deprived of Internet access.

Around 64 million out of Vietnam's 96 million population are online.

Other key findings were that mobile data has been a game-changer for lower-income groups, but access is still too expensive, the gender gap in access remains stubbornly wide, particularly in low and lower-middle income countries, the Internet is facilitating people’s management of their money and finances and their inclusion in the broader economy, and people are going online to prepare for the technology-intensive jobs of tomorrow.

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